Q: I do not own a car. I do not have auto insurance. Can I drive my friend’s car?
A: Yes, this is a real situation. Yes, there are people without auto insurance. About half of car owners do not have car insurance. So, you figure that if those people do not have car insurance, then people who do not own a car are not likely to have car insurance either.
The answer is that you CAN drive your friend’s car. Should you? Maybe. If your friend has a standard auto policy, then there will be at least some coverage for you. If your friend has a non standard automobile insurance policy, then there probably will not be coverage. How do you know? You have to read the policy.
Realistically, most people are not going to read the policy. So, let me give you three basic options here.
1. The car owner has a standard policy and whatever insurance limits your friend has apply to you as well. So, if your friend has a policy with 100/300 limits, then you will have 100/300 limits as well.
2. The car owner has a standard policy with an endorsement. The endorsement drops your friends limits down to the state minimum. So, in California, your friend has a car policy with 100/300 limits, but this endorsement drops the coverage limits to 15/30.
3. The car owner has a non-standard policy. So, if you drive your friend’s car, there will be no coverage at all.
The problem is that the major insurance companies write all three policies. It is almost impossible to figure out what you have without reading the policy. Your best bet: you can get an auto policy for a non-car owner. Yes, they actually sell car insurance for someone who does not own a car. And it is relatively inexpensive. I would recommend talking to an insurance broker like Warren Bender and Associates, (they are my broker too) about a policy of this type, or any car insurance policy.